Focused McEvoy looks to defend title for Gray-New Gloucester

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Keaton McEvoy has enjoyed the early snowfall.

The 2014 Class B Skimeister champion likes to be on the snow any chance she gets — On the trails or on the side of a hill, it doesn’t matter.

“When we first start practicing, we are doing a lot of dryland training, running, roller skiing, but it’s been special to start right out skiing,” McEvoy said.

She finished 13th in both the giant slalom and slalom races at the Class B Alpine championships at Mt. Abram.  She finished 15th in the Nordic freestyle and Nordic classical races in Rangeley. Her 59 combined points in all four events was 38 points ahead of Abby Condon of Yarmouth, who was the second place finisher in the skimeister competition

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“It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of training,” McEvoy, a junior, said. “I do most of my training with Nordic team and I do the alpine training on my own. I do a weekend program for alpine. So it’s a lot of hours skiing, a lot of days on the snow. It pays off, because I have the right amount of training with all that. It works out well.”

McEvoy isn’t the only defending skimiester champion on the team, either. Eric Wilcox won the boys’ Class B skimiester competition, as well. 

McEvoy said the key to doing well in both disciplines and placing well in the skimeister standings is to make sure you have good, clean runs in the two alpine events. And despite her ability to cover all four contested events, she does have a favorite: She prefers Nordic racing because of the challenges the trails provide.

This year she has two new coaches, as well, and she is familiar with each of them in their own way.

She’d worked before with the alpine coach Kris Parkin, who coached the team when McEvoy was a freshman. The Nordic coach?  Her father, Jeff McEvoy, who has coached the middle school program at Gray-New Gloucester.

“It’s not that much of a challenge for me,” Jeff McVoy said. “It’s something you have to be careful of. I got different athletes I have to work with. I probably do spend extra time with her on weekends, waxing, prepping ski’s before races at home. When the team is working and she’s working, we all work as a team.”   

Keaton McEvoy enjoys having her father around.

“I really like having him as my coach,” she said. “He definitely the one in my family that provides the most support for me. He comes to almost every race. He gives me the support and helps me with my training.” 

Jeff skied in high school at Yarmouth and also competed as a skimeister. He also believes his interest in the sport has piqued her interest. The entire family went to Iceland last year for a ski marathon. 

Despite practicing mostly with the Nordic team, Parkin knows she will be strong again for the alpine team.

“Her fitness level is very high and which will bode well,” Parkin said. “She’s has grown taller since she was a freshmen. I think the fitness level at her age right now she will be with the rest of the competition in terms of Class B.”

He also said she has the technical abilities that allows her to be one the best in Class B in alpine.  

She also likes being around the entire ski program 

“I get to spend time with more people than I would than if I was on one team,” Keaton McEvoy said. “Because our teams are small and really close, it’s really fun to be apart of two teams. It makes it more fun especially when it comes to states.”

Not only she is an all around skier, but someone that provides good vibes to her teammates.

“She’s a quiet girl, keeps to herself, she’s a nice kid,” Paquin said. “She has a great personality, a sense of humor and her focus is definitely top notch.”

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